Carnography (also carno) refers to excessive or extended scenes of carnage, violence, and gore in media such as film, literature, and images. The term carnography — a portmanteau of the words carnage and pornography — was used as early as 1972 in Time magazine's review of David Morrell's book First Blood, upon which the Rambo film series is based. Rambo was later described as "carnography" as well.
The term refers to an obsession with the human body that "suggests a connection between horror and pornography", often relating to hard-core horror films. Carnography is considered taboo and a disreputable genre. It has been described as "nastily impure work", "splatter-obsessed hard core horror", the "violent equivalent of pornography", and "watching flesh fly". Like pornography, these gore-filled horror films have a "superfluous plot" in which characters are "initiated, only to be discarded", and the gore seems to be the only reason the film exists. Pornography and carnography share the feature of close, intimate physical contact, whether it be to caress or to attack.
Carnography can also refer to sexuality or pornography where "appearance, motions, stimulation, and gratification of the genitalia are dealt with". In these cases, the term carnography serves as a euphemism for pornography.
- Skow, John (1972-05-29). "Carnography". Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,903556,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "I am sick of carnography, of sitting safe and watching meat fly. On the screen or on the page. But don't Moby-Dick and Hamlet also end bloodily? And isn't the reader/viewer always a voyeur?"
- "Word Spy — carnography". Wordspy. http://www.wordspy.com/words/carnography.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "Writings, films, images, or other materials that contain scenes of carnage or other types of violence. [Blend of carnage and pornography.] Also: carno"
- LaRocque, Paula (2003-04-01). "Language follows society: we can trace our changes by the words we use". The Quill. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. https://archive.is/mnasa. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "A blend of carnage and pornography gives us carnography, which refers to extended scenes of violence. The word has been used to describe, for example, the long and graphic battle scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Blackhawk Down.""
- Winter, Douglas E. (1985). Faces of fear: encounters with the creators of modern horror. Berkley Books. p. 82. ISBN 0425076709. http://books.google.com/books?id=rC7YA9JYSMMC&q=carnography&dq=carnography&pgis=1. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "When First Blood was published in 1972, Time devoted its lead book review to accusing Morrell of inventing a new form of fiction – "carnography," the violent equivalent of pornography."
- Rahner, Mark (2008-01-25). "Rambo's back; body parts fly". Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2004143688_rambo25.html. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "Guts fly, limbs get blown off, a throat is torn out, women are raped, children are killed, scores of people are cut to ribbons with machine-gun fire, or blown up — a book I have describes Rambo as "carnography," and this may be the hardest-core mainstream carnography to date."
- Pinedo, Isabel Cristina (1997). Recreational terror: women and the pleasures of horror film viewing. SUNY Press. p. 61. ISBN 0791434419. http://books.google.com/books?id=Zk_mtptGx8kC&pg=PA60&dq=carnography#PPA61,M1. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "The link between hard-core pornography and hard-core horror or the gore film is captured in the term "carnography" (Gehr 1990, 58), which uses the carnality of both genres as a bridge."
- Harvey, Karen (2004). Reading sex in the eighteenth century. Cambridge University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0521822351. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZmZ6JyOXW0gC&pg=PA21&dq=carnography. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "... Alan Bold's distinction between 'good erotica' and 'carnography' (the latter meaning 'nastily impure work' written by 'male chauvinists' and imbued with 'the sense of a desire to masticate flesh')..."
- Browning, Mark (2007). David Cronenberg: author or film-maker?. Intellect Books. p. 58. ISBN 1841501735. http://books.google.com/books?id=prEUHH2jcWAC&pg=PA58&dq=carnography#PPA58,M1. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "Ian Conrich underlines the 'relationship between the opened bodies of pornography and splatter-obsessed hard core horror' that Richard Gehr calls 'carnography'..."
- Bradley, Linda (1995). Film, horror, and the body fantastic. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 7. ISBN 0313275238. http://books.google.com/books?id=PD1CZfa5wicC&pg=PA6&dq=carnography#PPA7,M1. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- Burtchaell, James Tunstead (1998). Philemon's problem: a theology of grace. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 0802845495. http://books.google.com/books?id=WjKQTFFbHiUC&pg=PA182&dq=carnography&lr=#PPA182,M1. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "One obvious shared feature [between pornograhpy and carnography] is that both passions involve physical contact..."
- Prasad, Amar Nath (2005). Indian writing in English: critical appraisals. Sarup & Sons. p. 237. ISBN 8176255173. http://books.google.com/books?id=pYrC53BgMxoC&pg=PA222&dq=carnography#PPA237,M1. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "Carnography: We are here using this term instead of sexuality or pornography because we are disinclined to presume an unfavourable or negative connotation right at the outset."
- Bold, Alan (1983). The Sexual dimension in literature. University of California. p. 11. ISBN 0854783040. http://books.google.com/books?id=MOKEAAAAIAAJ&dq=carnography&q=%22carnography+to%22&pgis=1#search_anchor. Retrieved 2009-04-15. "I suggested that we begin to discriminate by keeping the word pornography, since it simply denotes the portrayal of prostitutes; and by using the word carnography to..."